Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

Fines & Appeals

The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Technology

In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

Behind the Stripes: Timeline

Starting the next week’s work when this week’s final whistle blows.

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

2016 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

NFL SVP of Officiating Dean Blandino explains NFL rules with video examples.

2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats.  Sort the stats by season or by week.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

The six postseason participants from each conference are seeded as follows:

  1. The division champion with the best record
  2. The division champion with the second-best record
  3. The division champion with the third-best record
  4. The division champion with the fourth-best record
  5. The wild card club with the best record
  6. The wild card club with the second-best record

The following procedures will be used to break standings ties for postseason playoffs and to determine regular-season schedules.

NOTE: Tie games count as one-half win and one-half loss for both clubs.

TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs 

  1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs)
  2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference
  5. Strength of victory
  6. Strength of schedule
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed
  9. Best net points in common games
  10. Best net points in all games
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games
  12. Coin toss

Three or More Clubs

(Note: If two clubs remain tied after a third club or other clubs are eliminated during any step, the tiebreaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format.)

  1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games among the clubs)
  2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference
  5. Strength of victory
  6. Strength of schedule
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed
  9. Best net points in common games
  10. Best net points in all games
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games
  12. Coin toss

TO BREAK A TIE FOR THE WILD-CARD TEAM

If it is necessary to break ties to determine the two wild card clubs from each conference, the following steps will be taken:

  • If the tied clubs are from the same division, apply the division tiebreaker.
  • If the tied clubs are from different divisions, apply the following steps:

Two Clubs

  1. Head-to-head, if applicable
  2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four
  4. Strength of victory
  5. Strength of schedule
  6. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed
  7. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed
  8. Best net points in conference games
  9. Best net points in all games
  10. Best net touchdowns in all games
  11. Coin toss

Three or More Clubs

(Note: If two clubs remain tied after a third club or other clubs are eliminated, the tiebreaker reverts to step 1 of the applicable two-club format.)

  1. Apply the division tiebreaker to eliminate all but the highest-ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tiebreaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two wild card participants.
  2. Head-to-head sweep (applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others)
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four
  5. Strength of victory
  6. Strength of schedule
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed
  9. Best net points in conference games
  10. Best net points in all games
  11. Best net touchdowns in all games
  12. Coin toss

When the first wild card team has been identified, the procedure is repeated to name the second wild card (i.e., eliminate all but the highest-ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2). In situations where three or more teams from the same division are involved in the procedure, the original seeding of the teams remains the same for subsequent applications of the tiebreaker if the top-ranked team in that division qualifies for a wild card berth.

OTHER TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES

  • Only one club advances to the playoffs in any tie-breaking step. The remaining tied clubs revert to the first step of the applicable division or wild card tiebreakers. As an example, if two clubs remain tied in any tiebreaker step after all other clubs have been eliminated, the procedure reverts to step 1 of the two-club format to determine the winner. When one club wins the tiebreaker, all other clubs revert to step 1 of the applicable two-club or three-club format.
  • In comparing records against common opponents among tied teams, the best won-lost-tied percentage is the deciding factor, since teams may have played an unequal number of games.
  • To determine home-field priority among division titlists, apply wild card tiebreakers.
  • To determine home-field priority for wild card qualifiers, apply division tiebreakers (if teams are from the same division) or wild card tiebreakers (if teams are from different divisions).
  • To determine the best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed, add a team’s position in the two categories; the lowest score wins. For example, if Team A is first in points scored and second in points allowed, its combined ranking is “3.” If Team B is third in points scored and first in points allowed, its combined ranking is “4.” Team A then wins the tiebreaker. If two teams are tied for a position, both teams are awarded the ranking as if they held it solely. For example, if Team A and Team B are tied for first in points scored, each team is assigned a ranking of “1” in that category, and if Team C is third, its ranking will still be “3.”
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